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Roasting a whole fish may seem like an ambitious project for a weeknight dinner, but in fact the preparation promises both ease and impressive results. We’re wild about this whole roasted branzino from Vernick Food & Drink’s Greg Vernick. The Philly chef stuffs the fish with shaved fennel, Espelette pepper and orange zest, then roasts it until the skin is crispy and the stuffing is wilted and tender. Serve it up straight from the skillet with lemon wedges--and plenty of napkins. If you’re like us, you’ll find yourself forgoing utensils and attacking it with your hands. Really.
Espelette pepper is available in specialty shops and online. If you can’t find it, substitute a pinch of paprika.
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